Accessibility is one of those terms that gets thrown around all the time in the special needs community, often enough for people to get desensitized to its meaning. Yet accessibility needs remain and they are very real for the members of this community that rely on services provided by companies like Lexington. With that being said, it’s important to revisit what accessibility means to our members and what you can do as a community member to help support the accessibility needs of those around you. If you have been looking for a way to help your community, maintaining a perspective on accessibility is vital. Here is what community members really mean when talking about accessibility needs.
No One Deserves To Be Excluded
First and foremost, accessibility is meant to discuss the readiness (or lack thereof) for a space to be used and enjoyed by every member of a community, regardless of whatever disability they may have. If accessibility needs are not met, members of our communities cannot enjoy the same quality of life that we get to enjoy. For advocates to help out, they must first assume the mindset that it’s about inclusion of everyone and that’s fundamentally part of the same quality of life for someone with a disability to enjoy an activity without being impeded by unnecessary restrictions.
Focusing On Realistic Goals
Some advocates or even opponents cite unrealistic scenarios to try and downplay the importance of a community that is sensitive to the accessibility needs of each individual. However, realistic people just want to receive a realistic amount of respect, understanding and effort. No one expects that a building owner will make their building exclusively accessible to people with disabilities and throw all other needs by the wayside. In fact, they just want to be included with everyone else.
Innovation Goes Hand In Hand With Accessibility
In order to meet the accessibility needs of a given community, we look to the innovators that recognize how they can affect those around them in a positive manner. Someone that creates and programs videos with special captions for the hearing impaired or audio directions for the visually impaired is thinking about the accessibility needs of their community. There are great examples of YouTube creators that make their videos accessible for people with intellectual disabilities or even adjusting color palettes for those that are color blind. The great thing about joining your community to address accessibility needs is that they are often not difficult problems to solve and you can grow closer to those around you in doing so.
Advocacy Takes More Than A Keyboard
We have gotten far too comfortable behind a keyboard, tweeting out our disapproval for something and then calling it a day. Letting your voice be heard is important but action means so much more when it comes to the accessibility needs of the community. For an example, consider a local building that lacks a basic wheelchair ramp up two small sets of stairs and two passersby that happen to notice. One goes home, gets on the computer and writes a long, eloquent tweet or blog that’s meant to advocate for the accessibility needs of the disability community. The other goes home, gets a shovel and a bag of cement, returns, talks to the business owner and gets to work setting a ramp to solve the problem. Which person do you think is more valuable to their community? Both move the conversation forward but there is still action that needs to be taken, so one is invariably more valuable.
Accessibility At Lexington
Lexington is constantly working to find new ways to focus on the accessibility needs of members in our community. From adding new services every year to expanding what we offer in the valley to working with organizations that continue to advocate for the community locally and nationally, we support the people we are lucky enough to interact with. If you want to learn more about DDD services and accessibility at Lexington Services, call 480-900-1009.